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Full text of "A history of Persia"

5io                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP<
short, without bloodshed or civil war, the Persians had
gained on paper everything demanded by their leaders.
This rescript was read out to the assembled crowd in the
Legation and was hailed with enthusiasm. The Legation
garden was then vacated, and 'a few days later the return
of the Kum exiles was made the occasion of a great
national demonstration,
The Regulations for the Assembly.—But the reactionary
party had not lost all hope. The Ayn-u-Dola suddenly
reappeared, and the Shah was persuaded not to sign the
Regulations for the Assembly. It seemed probable that
disturbances would again break out; but, as the result of
advice tendered by the British and Russian representatives,
the Ayn-u-Dola was ordered to proceed to his estate in
Khorasan and the document was signed and published.
It contained the following regulations : (a) The division
of Persia into eleven (or thirteen) electoral areas; (K)
the Assembly to consist of 200 members ; and (V) the
eligibility of all males between thirty and seventy, pro-
vided that they were literate, Were not in Government
service, and had not been convicted of any crime.
The Opening of the National Assembly > October^ 1906.—
So eager was public opinion for the Assembly to begin its
functions that as soon as the sixty-four members for
Teheran were elected there was a formal opening by the
Shah, in the presence of the triumphant divines and of
the European representatives. His Majesty, who was
very ill, just managed to reach his seat unaided, but was
unable to hold the pipe which it is customary to smoke
on such occasions. In accordance with Persian custom,
the royal rescript ordering the Parliament to begin its
labours was handed by the Shah to the Chief Herald, who
read it to the assembled members. This completed the
memorable ceremony.
The Signing of the Constitution.—The first task of the
National Assembly was the nomination of a committee
charged with the duty of drawing up the terms of the
Constitution. When the result of their labours was
submitted to the Assembly and it was found that there
was to be a Second House in which the Government